Small Dairies Join Forces to Bring Local Cottage Cheese to Consumers

Total Croatia News

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Source: ZG SIREK

The cheese is sold at farmers’ markets in Zagreb under the ZG SIREK branding.

Eight years ago, the ZG SIREK association was founded as part of the efforts to protect local cottage cheese industry by offering products under the ZG SIREK (Zagreb cottage cheese) brand. The products can nowadays be bought at the farmers’ markets at Utrine, Dubrava, Špansko, and Jarun neighbourhoods, as well as in Zaprešić, a town in the wider Zagreb area, reports on February 25, 2018.

“ZG SIREK is produced in areas surrounding Zagreb and sold in the city itself. Our goal was to raise the production to a higher level and to protect the cottage cheese products. Our producers have rules which regulate how they operate. For example, one of the conditions is that they must own their own cows, milk and production facilities, and they must be specially trained. We started with six producers, and now we have 11,” explained Anđelka Pejaković, the secretary of the ZG SIREK Small Dairy Producers’ Association.

The project leader is the ZG SIREK association with 17 members, and the project also includes 29 members of the Association of Small Dairies of Zagreb County. The Kusanovec family dairy is one of the producers who has been part of the project from the very start. They founded the dairy ten years ago and had expanded operations last year. The current owner Romina Zadravec says that there is a family tradition of cheese production which is more than a hundred years old and which she and her sister have continued. In addition to fresh cottage cheese, they also produce cooked, hard, semi-hard and smoked cheeses, and other dairy products.

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“All cheeses we sell are made exclusively with milk from our farm. We have 26 cows, of which 15 are dairy cows, producing between 250 and 300 litres of milk per day. After the expansion and new investments in the delivery vehicle, equipment and a small shop, we plan to open a tasting room,” said Zadravec.

Zadravec and Pejaković agree that the Zagreb market and consumers love the product, so its protection was a logical step forward. This guarantees to consumers and customers that the cheeses have specific properties and that production conditions are being supervised. The project also focuses on the exchange of experiences and providing expert knowledge to all members.

“The price of the cheeses is decided individually by each producer but ranges from 13 to 15 kuna. With this project, we have linked small dairies and made it easier for them to present their products in the market jointly. The two associations bring together 46 members, but some have decided against taking part in the project so far. Still, the interest is growing, and we believe that we will soon have even more producers. The Zagreb market is ready for this,” concluded Pejaković.

Translated from (reported by Marta Duić).


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